When Scottish immigrant and wealthy 34 year old real estate developer, John Hamilton Gillespie settled in Florida in 1886, he was hit with the daunting task of building the dream paradise that Florida was promised it would be to Scottish colonists. The colonists had essentially been swindled by a very early Florida Mortgage and Investment salesman, Selvin Tait, who painted the image of Florida to be a peaceful sunny land flowing with easily farmed soil and lush sand. In reality, Florida was an untamed humid overgrown mess far from the vacation world it is today. What was Gillespie to do? Golf -- Golf saved Florida’s tourism, and that - my friend, is why every great golf vacation begins here.
Gillespie created two hole golf courses that essentially entertained construction workers and developers of Florida’s land while they were building the world the Scots were originally promised. The golf tourism industry began in Sarasota with the Scots, but quickly developed into a primary identifier for the entire State of Florida. As it grew into various regions of Florida, the culture of golf began to greatly diversify depending on the region. A golf vacation on the West coast, for instance, is very different from one on the East coast, and the South is quite different from the North. So whether you are traveling in a boat from Scotland or simply driving down from Georgia on a weekend trip, I want you to know exactly what you can come to expect from a golf vacation here, on Florida’s first coast of golf.
I want to tell you about specific reasons North Florida can set itself apart from other regions of Florida for golf. It’s easy to convince you to come to Florida on a golf vacation: it’s where golf tourism practically originated in United States. North Florida however, is the front line of the golf capital of the United States of America and in honor of Gillespie, one of our golf forefathers, I want you to know exactly what you are getting.